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    WRNMMC responds to the president’s national call to fight the new surge of COVID-19



    Story by Alpha Kamara 

    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

    By Alpha Kamara, WRNMMC Command Communications

    WRNMMC, Bethesda, MD – As the nation continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing cases because of the Omicron variant, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) is supporting President Joe Biden’s mobilization of 1,000 service members to assist in locations nationwide where hospitals have been overwhelmed due to staffing shortages. More than 400 of those mobilized medical providers will come from the National Capital Regional Market.
    “They’re part of a major deployment of our nation’s armed forces to help hospitals across the country manage this surge of the Omicron virus — this surge that’s having an impact on hospitals,” President Biden said in January 2022. “Like all healthcare workers, they are heroes, and I’m grateful for what they do,” he added.
    “A sizable chunk of those [mobilizing] personnel will be pulled from [WRNMMC]. This tasking is in addition to our recent Rural Rapid Response (RRR) deployments, which have also pulled some key medical personnel from our ranks,” stated Army Brig. Gen. Jack Davis and Navy Command Master Chief Trey Hauptmann in a message to staff members.
    Davis, the WRNMMC director, and Hauptmann, its senior enlisted leader, acknowledged efforts and sacrifices staff and beneficiaries have made during the last two years.
    “As the Flagship of Military Medicine, we of course stand ready to support our nation in times of crisis,” Davis continued. “At the same time, the loss of key personnel will no doubt impact our ability to provide care to some of our beneficiaries. We will need to work with our beneficiaries to help them explore a full range of patient care options in keeping with our commitment to safe, quality care.”
    Those options include expanded virtual health services and the military health system (MHS) nurse advice line for routine care, as well as community emergency departments and urgent care centers for acute care.
    In acknowledging the toll the pandemic has had on staff, WRNMMC leadership encouraged its team to look out for one another. “As we work to extend care to our patients, let’s not forget to extend care to our co-workers and colleagues. We often tout the family aspect of this organization. Therefore, this is the time to check on your brothers and sisters to make sure no one is being pushed to the limit, working through lunch breaks, or failing to get the support they need in a timely manner. As I mentioned before, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. That certainly applies to our [WRNMMC] family.”
    The support WRNMMC is providing in response to President Biden’s COVID-19 plan falls in line with the Defense Health Agency’s readiness focus of providing “a medically ready force and ready medical force” to help the nation during peace and war.
    “Recently, we have on standby 250 active duty personnel,” said Command Sgt. Major Timothy White, WRNMMC Chief Clinical Officer. “This group of 250 [includes] a mix of those staged to deploy on a ‘prepare to deploy orders’ (PTDO) status, and those that have actually deployed. We are prepared to deploy more when called upon. All those deployments are COVID-19 related. This has led to a reduction in beds and clinical services, but I hope our beneficiaries understand as we continue to serve them, we’re responding to a national-level mandate.”
    Whenever service members are called upon to deploy anywhere within and outside the country, it is their mandate to respond swiftly, White explained. “When these orders come down, we provide 100 percent of what we are asked to do at a short notice. Sometimes, within hours, the service members must have their bags packed and be ready to go,” he said.
    White said leaving family members behind for rapid deployment elsewhere is one of the sacrifices often made by service members and their families. “Service members’ lifestyles are unpredictable; they leave family members behind to serve the nation,” he added.
    As challenging as these deployments can be, WRNMMC leadership has this message of courage and praise for its staff members who are playing a key role in the response.
    “If 2020 and 2021 have shown us anything, it’s the incredible resiliency of this organization. But that resiliency doesn’t come from the building. It’s not found in the bricks or the floor tiles. It comes from the people. This organization is amazing because our people are amazing. And if you’re looking for a promising sign or a ray of hope as we enter 2022, look no further than that self-evident truth,” Davis and Hauptmann concluded.
    You can learn more about patient care options for WRNMMC beneficiaries at this link:



    Date Taken: 01.19.2022
    Date Posted: 01.19.2022 10:58
    Story ID: 413072
    Location: BETHESDA, MD, US 

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    Downloads: 1